20 December 2012
Can a joint supplement prolong your life?
US researchers believe that glucosamine could have similar protective properties to aspirin but without the potential side effect of developing stomach ulcers.
A study of 77,500 people over 50 found that those taking the supplement were 13% less likely to die over an 8 year period compared to those not taking anything. The study indicated
that 13% were less likely to die from cancer and 41% were less likely to die from a respiratory disease when compared to their counterparts.
The scientists from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Centre in Seattle believe it may have anti-inflammatory properties.
They said, “Although bias cannot be ruled out, these results suggest that glucosamine may provide some mortality benefit.”
The results were adapted to take into account other factors, such as age, gender and smoking habits. It is possible that glucosamine has no benefits and that people taking it simply take better care of themselves.
Sarah Williams, from Cancer Research UK, said, “This is an interesting study, but it can’t tell us for sure if the glucosamine supplements themselves were responsible for the difference in death rates, or whether it could be explained by something else. For example, people who take supplements might have generally healthier lifestyles than people who don’t. This kind of
research will need to be repeated in other large groups of people to know more about any effects of glucosamine supplements on our health.”